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'Important' fifties office set for demolition

Kohn Pedersen Fox has been given the green light for a replacement for one of London's most 'unique and interesting' office buildings.

Plans approved by the Corporation of London yesterday have paved the way for the destruction of the 1957 Clements House on Gresham Street in the City ( pictured), which was designed by Trehearne and Norman, Preston and Partners.

The Twentieth Century Society (C20) tried to get the building listed in 2001, but the request was knocked back by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The government claimed that the building was 'disappointingly solid and overscaled' in comparison to the one other example of the building type listed; Grosvenor House in Birmingham.

In a letter to C20 dated 20 September 2001, the DCMS said: 'We were not persuaded that any attempt had been made to give vitality to a building of this massive scale, while additions to the roof and suspicious fixings to the panelling (suggesting it is unsound) also argued against the building's listability.'

However, Pevsner claims that Clements House is 'one of the best office buildings in the City of its date'.

KPF intends to produce a building that is 'modern, faced in reconstituted stone, metalwork and glazing, with a curved roof'.

In the planning application approved yesterday, Corporation planners claim the overall architectural effect of the new building would be to 'create a curved form that would contrast with the geometric bays of the street elevations'.

by Rob Sharp

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